6 Reasons Why Your Toe Nail Smells Like Cheese & What To Do About It!

6 Reasons Why Your Toe Nail Smells Like Cheese & What To Do About It!

Have you always wondered why your toenail smells like cheese? Do you feel embarrassed about it and try to hide it from others? Fret not because you are not alone. In fact, there is a scientific explanation as to why our toenails sometimes emit a cheesy odor. In this blog post, we will explore the causes behind this phenomenon and how you can prevent it from happening.

1. Fungal Infection

The most common reason behind toenails smelling like cheese is a fungal infection. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, and our feet provide the perfect surroundings for their growth. Fungi feed on the keratin in our nails, resulting in discoloration, thickening, and a foul odor. If left untreated, the fungus can spread to other nails and even your skin. To prevent this from happening, make sure you keep your feet clean and dry, wear breathable footwear, and use antifungal creams or sprays if necessary.

2. Poor Hygiene

Neglecting to wash your feet regularly or not changing your socks frequently can lead to a buildup of bacteria in your toenails. The bacteria can produce a pungent aroma similar to that of cheese or vinegar. To prevent this, make sure you wash your feet thoroughly every day, especially after workouts or any activity that makes your feet sweat. Use a fungal foot powder or a talcum powder to keep your feet dry and odor-free.

3. Ingrown Toenail

When a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, it can cause a buildup of dead skin cells and bacteria, resulting in a cheesy odor. Ingrown toenails can be painful, and it is essential to seek medical attention to avoid any infections. To prevent ingrown toenails, make sure you cut your nails straight across and avoid cutting them too short.

If you don’t want to deal with it, go for a deluxe pedicure, and they will fix it!

4. Diabetes

Diabetes affects the body’s natural ability to fight infections, making it more susceptible to fungal infections. Diabetic patients are at higher risk of developing toenail fungus, which can lead to a cheesy odor. If you have diabetes and notice nail fungus symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

5. Dietary Habits

Our diet plays a significant role in the odor of our toenails. Foods that are high in sulfur, such as onions and garlic, can cause a cheesy aroma in our nails. Cutting down on these foods or increasing your water intake can help reduce the smell.

6. Nail Polish

Using nail polish on your toenails can cause a cheese-like smell. The chemicals in nail polish react with the moisture in our feet and create an unpleasant odor. If you want to wear nail polish, make sure you use breathable formulas or give your nails some time off to air out.

How to treat smelly toenails at home

If you are experiencing smelly toenails, a few home remedies may help reduce the odor.

  1. Soaking your feet in vinegar or black tea can help kill bacteria and fungi.
  2. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to your toenails before washing off with warm water.
  3. Rubbing alcohol on your nails can also help reduce odors.
  4. Applying tea tree oil, lemon juice, or garlic on your nails can help prevent fungal infections.
  5. Antifungal foot powder after drying off your feet can keep them dry and odor-free.
  6. Some people prefer to go for pedicures monthly to prevent these kinds of issues.

Should you visit a doctor if your toenails smell bad?

Yes, it is always best to visit a doctor if you think your toenails might have a fungal infection. The doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with the necessary treatment. If left untreated, nail fungus can spread to other nails or even your skin, so make sure you get it checked out as soon as possible.


In conclusion, having smelly toenails can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but it is vital to address the underlying cause to prevent further complications. Maintaining proper hygiene, wearing breathable shoes, cutting your nails straight, and seeking medical attention if necessary can help avoid infections. Also, remember to keep your feet clean and dry and watch your diet to reduce the smell. With the right care, it is possible to have healthy and odor-free toenails.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *